Why relationships are always the best investment

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  • Amy Underwood

In July 2017, Amy Underwood was promoted to Partner in our Global Compliance and Reporting team, London. Relationship building has been a focus of every aspect of her work and career. Here’s why.

Referred by a friend

My corporate tax career began with a mid-tier accountancy firm. It was a great start but gradually I realised I wanted a greater breadth of international and client secondment experiences and felt moving to a Big Four firm would be the best approach for me.

An old school friend of mine was working for EY and encouraged me to start talking to the team. I did – and the rest is history!

Support I never expected

From the start, I found EY to be a very people-focused firm. Relationships are part of the infrastructure here. Despite being a large organisation, my assigned ‘buddy’ and counsellor made me feel very welcome and supported.

People here are always willing to help you progress. There are endless groups you can get involved in to meet colleagues outside the day job. Now, some of my good friends are at EY.

There’s no substitute for close working relationships

I got the secondment I wanted soon after joining. It was a new contract with a FTSE 250 business, so I worked extensively with the senior tax team as we got things up and running. Consequently, this relationship became very strong – and continues to flourish many years later.

Now I’m a Partner in the Global Compliance and Reporting team, where I focus on large outsourcing contracts which require regular communication between our team and our clients. Talking to clients frequently throughout the year means we build very close, trusted relationships. It’s my job to make sure they’re getting the very best support from EY.

Long distance relationships can be just as strong

Today’s constantly evolving world of tax means we depend on our international network of colleagues. For example, lots of our compliance work is done by our Global Delivery Services team in India. As my career has progressed, my involvement with this delivery team has gone from hands-on client work to now being the leader responsible for how it plays a role across our entire Tax practice.

Each year, 12 of our UK graduates spend three months working, learning and building relationships with our colleagues there. I’m proud of how we’ve built the team in India and invested in our relationship so that we now really feel like one team.

Our relationship with technology continues to change

There are huge changes going on in the tax world at the moment. Clients are asking us to get them ready for the changes ahead, especially when it comes to the digital revolution. This is very exciting for the development of our people.

As technology plays an ever more active role in our business, I expect it will enter our core skillset as tax advisers. Although our relationship with technology will change, one thing will not: a trusted personal relationship between client and adviser will always be invaluable.

  • Amy Underwood